Foreign Permanent Workers


Labor certification is usually required for obtaining employment-based permanent residence. The Department of Labor (DOL) with the assistance of the state employment security agency (SESA) is charged with determining whether the prospective foreign worker meets the qualifications for the position and that there are no available, willing, or qualified U.S. workers for the position.

The labor certification application consists of ETA 9089. An application that is not properly completed will be denied.

Although the process can be complex, one aspect is constant: the employer must show that the position is one that there are no available, willing, or qualified U.S. workers. There are generally three steps when filing an application:

  • The Position - the employer must carefully and in detail describe the open position. A description of the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and working conditions is also necessary. Compensation must meet or exceed the prevailing wage, which is generally set by the Department of Labor (DOL). The foreign national must demonstrate that he or she meets the requisite qualifications including education, prior experience, or license.
  • The Recruitment - the employer must demonstrate that its recruitment efforts to hire within the past 180 days have not produced any available, willing, or qualified U.S. workers. Evidence of recruitment should include newspaper ads, internet job announcements, and internal job postings and proof of additional ads if required.
  • The Decision - If approved the application will serve as the basis for the immigrant visa application that is filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. If not approved a Notice of finding is issued and the employer is notified of the reason(s) for its decision.

An attorney can assist the employer and foreign national prepare, process, and file the necessary documents as well as provide legal advice and instructions on numerous issues that usually arise. The employer is responsible for contacting and if applicable interviewing any qualified, available, or willing U.S. applicants. However, the employer is not required to hire any applicant.

The labor certification process is regularly utilized by U.S. companies to recruit and hire much needed workers that in turn make the U.S. company and economy more competitive and prosperous. The process has undergone substantial changes. To learn more about this process, please contact immigration attorney before applying for naturalization. To learn more about this process, please contact our office at 1-888-905-0202 or email us at

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